How Does a Mattress in a Box Work?

July 02, 2021

How Does a Mattress in a Box Work?

Remember the last time you needed a mattress — driving all over, talking to salespeople, testing it out in the mattress store, arranging delivery, and attempting to fit it in your house — and the price tag associated with all that? If you’re in the market for another mattress, and getting your last one does not bring up positive memories, perhaps it’s time to try something new. What if we told you that you can have an affordable, eco-friendly mattress delivered right to your door? If that sounds great, keep reading.

What is a Mattress in a Box?

A mattress in a box is…..well, a mattress in a box! Rather than come in the one large, traditional package, a mattress in a box is packed into a box for easier delivery. After ordering a mattress online, it is delivered right to your door, ready to go.

How a Mattress in a Box Works

A new mattress in a box is made of memory foam. Using machines and technology, the mattresses are essentially compressed into a size that would allow it to ship in a box. Once it arrives from the manufacturer and is unpacked, the memory foam expands to its original shape of a mattress. It is honestly the perfect mattress for multiple reasons, including how easy it is to set up!

Unboxing a Mattress in a Box

One of the most impressive parts of a mattress in a box is unboxing it. Open the box, take off the packing, lay it out, and watch it turn into a mattress. Once it is out, it will slowly begin to expand into your new mattress. It typically takes around 5 minutes to do, but do allow up to 48 hours for the mattress to take its absolute full shape. That sounds significantly easier than lugging in a traditional mattress, doesn’t it?

What are the Benefits of a Bed in a Box?

There are many positives to a bed in a box, including the following:


A few clicks later, and you have ordered a mattress online. By eliminating the delivery, boxed mattresses can cost you less money. Because it can be compressed into a box, only shipping costs are required, which is significantly cheaper than the delivery fees and driver tips. In some cases, a boxed mattress shipping is free.

No Travel

Your mattress comes directly to your door. There is no travel required--going from store to store searching for something that will work for you and then negotiating price and delivery. Not only is the ordering convenient, so is it coming directly to you.

Free Trial

There is nothing worse than purchasing something and disliking it. Thankfully, mattresses in a box often have a free trial where you can simply return it if it does not work for you, making it essentially risk free. Also, it eliminates that weird feeling you get when you have to “try it out’ in front of the sales person. There is no better way to try it than to actually sleep on it risk free.


Have you ever tried to move a traditional box mattress? It’s heavy! But not a mattress in a box, which is significantly lighter than a regular mattress with springs. You can not only move box mattresses easier, but also have no trouble making the bed.


One of the biggest perks about mattress in a box sets is that they have a significant variety in what they offer. There are numerous options, but it isn’t overwhelming. You have to choose size of course, but there are also a variety of foam materials, fabric materials, and thickness. For instance, you can get a cooling gel layer to help with temperature, or whether or not to add layers for support.

A Bargain

Mattresses are not a cheap investment. In fact, they can run into the thousands for one of the best innerspring mattresses.  But not a mattress in a box, which is an affordable alternative. In many cases, there aren’t physical stores, trucks, delivery staff, and delivery costs, such as gas and wear/tear, to be factored into the price. Thanks to the compression into a smaller box, the shipping costs are lower, which in some cases the manufacturer absorbs. By companies eliminating those barriers, it gives the customer a lower price. A win for you!


You know how daunting it is when you get an item, open it, and discover the dozens of parts, hardware, and extensive directions? Not with a mattress in a box. As mentioned, you literally open it, and let it take form. There is no attempt to get a large mattress through the doors, up the stairs, etc. It comes in compressed and opens into a mattress.

What are the Cons of a Bed in a Box?

There could be several drawbacks of a bed in a box, including the below.

Off Gassing

Like any item that you open, when you take out the mattress, there may be a smell coming from it. While it is totally normal, you may want to make sure you are in a well-ventilated area prior to opening the box. However, you can also avoid that off-gassing smell by purchasing an all-natural and organic mattress, such as one from Eco Terra. Since our materials are non-toxic, you do not have to worry about anything, including smells, being harmful to your health.

So Many Options

While it is great to have a wide variety, sometimes the choices can be overwhelming, especially online. It might help to call a customer service representative to ask questions you may have. If you order from companies like Eco Terra, our representatives are available 7 days a week for 12 hours, so it is convenient for your schedule.

Bed Frame

When you order a new mattress, you will have to make sure that your current bed frame is a good match. Mattresses that are made from foam need support to hold it, so you’ll need to make sure you have a bed frame that will fully support a foam mattress, such as a platform. A new bed frame may add an additional cost to your mattress purchase.

Hot Sleepers

If you are a sleeper who gets hot at night, think about your mattress in a box. Some types of foam are known to trap heat, and not have a lot of breathability, which could contribute to body heat. The good news, it is something companies are working on, but until then, consider using Eco Terra, which already uses breathable, moisture-wicking materials.

What Type of Mattress Can You Buy as a Mattress in a Box?

Because of its need to be able to compress into a box, a mattress in a box will be a type of foam.

Memory Foam Mattress

The first type of foam is usually memory foam. Within this, there may be additional layers of polyfoam to help support the mattress.

Latex Mattress

The second foam you may get is latex foam. Coming from the sap of the rubber tree, latex is a comfortable yet durable option for your mattress in a box. Latex will be a good option for those who need a cooler alternative.

Hybrid Mattress

Another option is a hybrid mattress version, which are foam mattresses containing a mix of latex and memory foam with coil support inside. The hybrid is perfect for those who want pressure relief and motion isolation, while feeling supported. Additionally, the hybrid gives you the perfect balance between what the memory foam and the latex offer — giving you the best of both worlds.

Does a Bed in a Box Need a Box Spring?

No, your mattress in a box does not need a box spring, but if you have one, that will be acceptable as long as it is in good shape and can support a foam mattress. However, new beds have changed from the innerspring mattress from decades ago where you needed a box spring to support a soft, fluffy mattress.

A box spring once was the needed support, but now your mattress is higher quality that provides its own support. In lieu of a box spring, you can also use a slat bed, metal frame, or adjustable bed for your mattress in a box. Whatever your options, it does need a form of support, if you want it to last and conduct air flow.

Can You Sleep on a Mattress in a Box Right Away?

The answer is yes and no. The first thing to think about is how long the mattress has been in the box for. The longer it has been in the box, the longer you will have to wait to sleep on it.

Additionally, most brands want you to give up to 72 hours for it to expand, but you may find that your mattress is in full shape faster than that. If you feel as though the mattress is ready, you likely can sleep on it the same night. To help speed along the process, take your mattress out of the box as soon as it arrives on your doorstep.

Tips for Buying a Mattress in a Box

Take the following tips into account when purchasing a bed in a box.

  • Create a must-have list. Do not buy a mattress, and then find out it does not give you what you need. Before you shop, create a list of things that you need to ensure you get a good night's sleep. Do you need extra support for your back? Do you need the mattress to have breathability to keep you cool? Do you need a mattress that is better for sleeping on your side or your stomach? These are all things to consider before you purchase a mattress. There is no one-size-fits-all mattress, and it is crucial that you find one that works for you.
  • Trust your gut. You are about to spend a lot of money on an investment. It would be wonderful to not only get the product you want, but also to have a good experience during the process. Go with your gut on this one.
  • Buy from a reputable company. Find a place that gives you exceptional customer service, that you feel good about buying from. Make sure that it is a reputable brand with a culture of trust and service. Given the life of a mattress, you will have to work with the company for years to come, so this should be a place you feel valued by.                                                     

I’m sold on a mattress in a box, where should I get one?

That depends on what you want. But at the top of that list (really, the only one on that list) should be Eco Terra. Here’s why:

  • Good for you and the environment

Eco Terra mattresses are not only comfortable, but they are chemical-free, polyurethane-free, and organic. Not only do they care enough about your health not to put harsh chemicals in your product, they also make it with natural, organic materials.

  • They are affordable

It’s natural and organic, so therefore, it must be more money. Actually, Eco Terra prides itself on our products being good for you, the environment, and your wallet. Eco Terra uses local farmers, creates the product in-house, and does not have a physical location to shop, so therefore, we cut costs, which makes the product more affordable for the consumer. Because you order online, Eco Terra is able to bring the product to you without the extra aspects like trucks and drivers.

  • Made in the USA

Do you have the mindset that you want to support small businesses in the United States? Then Eco Terra is perfect for you. We are located in California, and our company employs local craftsmen, and uses local manufacturers. It not only supports the local workforce, but also the local community.

  • Transparency is key

If you have ever felt duped or misled by a company or product, fear not. Eco Terra takes pride in making sure we are fully transparent with our customers. For instance, Eco Terra ensures that all of our tags are not only clear and visible, but also accurate. What is in your mattress is on that tag--no hidden materials.

That all sounds great! How would I get the mattress?

All you have to do is contact Eco Terra, and let us help you choose what mattress in a box would be best for you. Once you decide, it will be compressed into a box, and shipped to you via UPS Ground. If that was not impressive enough, Eco Terra also offers free shipping. If for some reason it doesn't work for you, we will also provide a full refund of your purchase price.

It is clear that going with a mattress in a box is an easy and convenient way for you to get a good night’s sleep. Companies like Eco Terra are eliminating barriers to ensure that your sleep is restful. From eliminating the middleman, ordering online, excellent warranty, free shipping, and making it trouble-free to get to your house, a mattress in a box is the new way to shop for a bed.

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 13 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.